By Stephen Floyd
Six candidates are vying for three seats on the Mount Angel City Council, with an even split between incumbents and newcomers.
As of the Aug. 30 filing deadline, councilors Ray Eder, Tony Astorga and Matthew Donohue had filed for new terms, while challengers Mary Franklin, Justin Roney and Joseph Pfau were vying for an open seat.
The three candidates with the largest number of votes during the Nov. 8 election will be elected to four-year terms.
Eder, a local farmer, has served on the council for four terms since first being elected in 2006 from a similarly-crowded field of seven candidates. He said, even after 16 years, he still likes the job and believes his knowledge and experience have been beneficial to the city.
“I know this will be my fifth term, and I still enjoy it,” he said. “I feel like I’m still contributing.”
Eder said the city is running smoothly, largely due to its “great staff” and he wants to see Mount Angel continue to
Astorga was appointed to the City Council in 2021 after the late Don Fleck, a councilor at the time, was sworn in as mayor. Astorga said his two decades in public works, including his current position as wastewater operator for the City of Salem, help him relate to people he works with and serves on the council.
“I feel like I can bridge that gap between city workers, city government and private citizens,” said Astorga.
This link has already come into play with a cleanup day at Ebner Park in July, which he helped coordinate with Dre Goyer, co-owner of Mt. Angel
Donohue, a journeyman electrician, is finishing his first term after being elected in 2018. A graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, Donohue went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Western Oregon University and complete a four-year electrician apprenticeship through Chemeketa Community College.
He could not be reached for comment prior to Our Town deadline.
Franklin hopes to bring a fresh set of eyes to city business, using her background as management and communications consultant to accounting professionals for the last 35 years. She said she enjoys being a part of the Mount Angel community believes serving on the City Council is an effective way to give back.
“Because I am committed to being a voice for the community, I approach this challenge with no personal agenda, and will spend some time knocking on doors to learn what people want,” said Franklin.
She said serving on the council should be about the community rather than personal interests.
Roney is an entrepreneur with a background in the cannabis industry, as well as a law student at Willamette University. He said he wants to prioritize businesses and the community in city policy, and to tackle practical problems from speed limits to the housing crunch.
“My knowledge of business and the law will bring a more robust level of leadership and decision-making to some of the most important questions facing our city,” said Roney.
He said he and his wife fell in love with Mount Angel and its small-town feel and he is committed to hearing the opinions and concerns of his neighbors.
Pfau is a construction manager for the Oregon Department of Forestry and believes this and similar roles in the public and private spheres have prepared him to help guide infrastructure improvements for the city. He said sidewalks, water quality and streets all need to be priorities, in addition to business development.
“I understand long term budgeting, alternative contracting methods, and ensuring that public funds are not wasted on unnecessary or out-of-order operations,” he said.
Pfau also said he is committed to the community where he has chosen to
raise his family, and where his parents retired to.